As war rages in Europe, and racial tensions boil over in the south, Mr and Mrs Bridge eke out their safe existence, protected even from the financial collapse happening on their doorstep.
While attempting to instil her values in her children – naturally 'cleanliness, politeness, and pleasantness' predominate - Mrs Bridge simply alienates them. Baffled by their refusal to conform to the conventions that underpin her entire existence, their individual personalities, and joyous idiosyncrasies, simply pass her by. Mrs Bridge does not know her children, and in the end, they don't know her.
Yet just as Mr Bridge can't vocalise his feelings, nor can Mrs Bridge make demands, least of all emotional ones. Everything she says is qualified, hesitant, for fear of offending, annoying – or simply standing out. "It does seem too bad", "Well, yes, I expect that's true", or "I'm sure you're right" are her constant and endearing refrains.